Vatican to appear before the UN's anti-torture committee in May

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 04/16/2014 - 14:39

This May the Holy See is to present its initial report on the Convention against Torture (CAT) to the relevant UN committee. Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi confirmed this in a statement to journalists. Responding to their questions, Fr. Lombardi clarified that the Vatican would be presenting its report next month, alongside Cyprus, Lithuania, Guinea, Montenegro, Sierra Leone, Thailand and Uruguay.

“This is part of the ordinary procedures to which all state parties to the convention adhere," Fr. Lombardi pointed out. “Considering the types of obligations included in the Convention, the Holy See signed the Convention in 2002 exclusively in the name of and on the part of Vatican City State. For this reason, the Holy See continues to fulfil its obligations on the part of Vatican City State and to present periodical reports, in accordance with the procedures set forth in the Convention.”

In a statement issued in recent days, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), which represents the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), said it submitted a report to the committee “documenting the severity of long-term harms suffered by survivors of sexual violence by Catholic clergy. “ The statement underlined that the audience, which should take place on 5 and 6 May “will be the second time in four months that top Catholic officials have been called before the UN to account for the Vatican’s human rights record on addressing the ongoing worldwide crisis of sexual violence and cover-ups within the Catholic Church.”

The document on the Convention against Torture submitted by the Vatican in December 2012 and published on the committee’s website, focuses on torture, outlining the relevant legal procedures in place in the Vatican City State, reiterating the Holy See upholds the convention’s principles against torture, and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, in its teaching and various activities.

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Iacopo Scaramuzzi